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Boston’s Pit Bull Ordinance Overridden By State

A pit bull puppy. (Funkybeatz/Flickr)

A pit bull puppy. (Funkybeatz/Flickr)

Earlier this month, Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law a bill that amends the Animal Control Act. The new bill covers multiple animal issues, but it also strikes down any breed-specific legislation that cities or towns may have in place. Section 31 of the bill states:

No order shall be issued directing that a dog deemed dangerous be removed from the town or city in which the owner of such dog resides. No city or town shall regulate dogs in a manner that is specific to breed.

That would nullify Boston’s Ordinance Regarding Responsible Pit Bull Ownership, which has been in effect since 2004.

“The state house wiped us out,” City Councillor Rob Consalvo told us. Consalvo authored the original ordinance and joined Radio Boston to talk about how invalidating the city ordinance will rob enforcement of a tool he says helps ensure public safety.

Kara Holmquist, director of advocacy of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, disagreed. The MSPCA says breed-specific laws are not effective and there are other alternatives that foster responsible dog ownership.

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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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